Just in time for the holiday shopping season, mobile phone manufacturers are releasing a slew of new products with stylish designs, intuitive interfaces, and multimedia features (including live TV).
Blackberry Pearl Pearl 8220 Flip is Research in Motion's first flip phone The Pearl 8220 Flip is more compact than other BlackBerry models, making it easy to slip into a pocket. The phone has an outside secondary display for previewing calls and messages, and for viewing the time. The keyboard looks similar to that on other Pearl models: It has 20 keys, and uses SureType Technology coupled with a spelling checker. The new phone has strong multimedia chops, too: Turn the phone on its side to watch video in wide-screen mode; upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr; or use BlackBerry Media Sync to transfer music from your iTunes collection to your phone. The built-in GPS and integrated BlackBerry Maps (for location-based information and directions) will help you find your way, and integrated Wi-Fi supports phone calls and data streaming. The BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip will be sold via T-Mobile in the fall of this year.
LG Lotus The stylish LG Lotus of the Sprint network, is a full QWERTY flip phone. The Lotus comes with built-in GPS, a 2-megapixel camera, an integrated music player with external music controls, and up to 12GB of expandable memory. The Lotus's 2.4-inch wide-view display incorporates Sprint's OneClick customizable interface for fast access to texting, the Web, e-mail and the user's favorite content and features. The Lotus has EvDO support, too, so customers can take advantage of Sprint's broadband and entertainment services. The Lotus will be available in October for $150 with a two-year Sprint service contract and is available in a textured purple design (with embossed flowers on the front surface) or in satin black.
Samsung Omnia Samsung is looking to cut into iPhone sales with its new Omnia. This model is 100 percent touch-screen, but it includes an optical mouse for navigation. Samsung joins the ranks of mobile phone manufacturers that have customized their own variations on Windows Mobile 6.1: The Omnia includes Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, which enables users to personalize their home screen. The Omnia comes with Microsoft Office Mobile, GPS and a 5-megapixel camera; it is available with a capacity of 8GB or 16GB, with an extendable slot. The 3.2-inch WQVGA LCD screen on the Omnia is slightly smaller than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen. The Samsung has not yet announced availability dates, a carrier or pricing for North America.
MotoZine ZN5 The Motorola MotoZine ZN5 features a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, xenon flash, 4GB of optional external memory and settings for low-light environments. The camera also has a panoramic mode, which stitches continuous shots into a single extended image. Other notable features of the MotoZine include a 2.4-inch high-resolution screen, dual compatibility for GSM and Wi-Fi, and Motorola's proprietary CrystalTalk Technology to help users hear and be heard, even in noisy environments. The MotoZine ZN5 is expected to roll out worldwide later in 2008. Motorola has not yet announced pricing or a carrier for North America.
LG Invision The LG Invision ifeatures AT&T's 3G networked Mobile TV. The Invision allows TV fans to enjoy programming from CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile and NBC2Go on the the handset's 2.2-inch screen. The Invision offers plenty of music features, too, with access to AT&T Mobile Music, side-loading compatibility from Napster To Go and streaming digital radio by XM Radio Mobile. The Invision is available now for $100 with a two-year AT&T contract. Customers must pay additional costs for access to Mobile TV and XM Radio.
Virgin Shuttle Virgin Mobile USA's first 3G EvDO handset, the Shuttle, is ideal for users who want a multimedia phone but don't want to commit to a contract. The phone has access to social networking communities and other mobile sites. The Shuttle will also be the first to use Virgin Mobile's location-based services from uLocate. This small slider phone has a 1.3-megapixel camera, a 2-inch screen, a music player, stereo Bluetooth and SD Card support. Going on sale this month exclusively at Best Buy, the Shuttle costs $80 on Virgin's Totally Unlimited plan; or you can opt for monthly or pay-as-you-go add-on Mobile Web data plans.
Xperia X1 Another handset slated to hit North America later in 2008 is Sony Ericsson's sleek Xperia X1is encased in a stainless-steel body. The phone features a 3-inch VGA touch-screen with a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard. Sony Ericsson touts the Xperia as being as adept for work as it is for play, with a wide range of enterprise and entertainment features. Sony Ericsson is also introducing its own overlay to Windows Mobile. Xperia Panels UI allows users to customize up to nine desktop screens with their favorite content and applications. Sony Ericsson has not yet announced a price or a carrier for the Xperia X1.
Samsung Rant The Samsung Rant has a horizontal-slide full QWERTY keyboard ideal for text messaging fanatics. The handset also comes with a 2-megapixel camera/camcorder, stereo Bluetooth, expandable memory (up to 16GB), and quick access to Sprint Navigation, Sprint Music Store and Sprint TV. The Rant is one of many new phones to adopt Sprint's new OneClick user interface, which allows users to customize their phone's home screen with their favorite features and content. The Samsung Rant will be available in October for $50 with a two-year contract. It comes in red or black, though Best Buy will offer an exclusive purple option as well.
HTC Touch Pro HTC Touch Pro has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, carries a 2.8-inch LCD screen with VGA resolution, and it runs Windows Mobile 6.1. The screen dominates the upper portion of the unit; it rotates sideways to landscape orientation when you turn the device to use the keyboard. The Touch Pro incorporates HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface on top of the Windows Mobile 6.1operating system; the HTC interface simplifies frequent tasks such as messaging, checking your calendar and placing calls. It also has integrated GPS with turn-by-turn navigation, built-in Wi-Fi and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The Touch Pro will be available in October from Sprint for $300 with two-year service contract.
Blackberry Bold Research in Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9000 boasts a stylish design with a 480-by-320-pixel, 65,000-plus-color display upfront. (ttwice the BlackBerry Curve's resolution). The phone features a range of connectivity options, including tri-band HSDPA, quad-band EDGE, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth. This model also has a 2-megapixel camera, and assisted and autonomous GPS (with BlackBerry Maps). Like the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip, this model supports BlackBerry Media Sync for importing music from iTunes on your PC. The BlackBerry Bold will be available exclusively on AT&T in October.